Habitat LA Celebrates National AmeriCorps Week

The 2019 Habitat LA AmeriCorps team with Caitlin Rose, Associate Director of Volunteer Services, enjoying the AmeriCorps appreciation breakfast.

(above) The 2019 Habitat LA AmeriCorps team at the Midnight Mission

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles (Habitat LA) showed our appreciation for our valued AmeriCorps members last month with a week of activities from March 10-16.

National AmeriCorps Week 2019 is a celebration of all things AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs, made up of three primary programs that each take a different approach to improving lives and fostering civic engagement. Habitat AmeriCorps help us meet our needs and mission to increase the impact in our community. The eight individuals who are working for us this year—Ben Benya, Aby Briner, Danielle Corpus, Frank Magnotta, Leana Mason, Damitri Moore, Ryan Siess, and Tom Staley—have all given a year of their life in service. They’re part of a nationwide program of 75,000 people serving in 21,000 locations across the United States.

The week began Monday, March 11 at the Midnight Mission in downtown Los Angeles, where the AmeriCorps team provided meal service to program participants who are working to build a bridge to self-sufficiency. Leana, who works as our Construction Crew Leader, was pleased to learn she could interview some of the people going through recovery for a project she’s working on about addiction. For some of the AmeriCorps members who hail from other parts of the country, it was also an opportunity to witness the changes going on in the center of L.A.

On Thursday, March 14, members of our staff held a potluck breakfast for the AmeriCorps at our Bellflower headquarters. The occasion gave numerous members of our staff a chance to show their appreciation for the hard work done by the AmeriCorps.

“It was more food than I’ve ever seen,” said Ben, one of our second year AmeriCorps. “All of the Development department cooked or baked something.” Two days after the potluck, Ryan, Construction Crew Leader at our Globe Avenue site in Culver City, said “I’m still eating the breakfast casserole,” while fellow Construction Crew Leader, Aby said she was still eating bagels.

The CivicSpark AmeriCorps build group.

And on Friday, March 15, our Globe Avenue construction site in Culver City hosted 15 AmeriCorps members who are spending the year working for CivicSpark, a program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address community issues like climate change and water resource management.

They painted siding and trim, shingled a roof, and installed plumbing fixtures, among other tasks. Several of the CivicSpark volunteers said they appreciated the chance to get out from behind a desk and spend the day under brilliantly sunny skies.

“It’s cool that we’re actually getting to build a house, not just planning it or talking about it,” said Michael Jimenez, one of the CivicSpark AmeriCorps. “I got a different perspective,” added Bella Spies, also a CivicSpark AmeriCorps. “I liked learning that there are so many different avenues for volunteering.”

Habitat LA AmeriCorps team were also featured on our social media platforms as part of a campaign individually highlighting each member and thanking them for their dedication, hard work and service.

Thank you, 2019 AmeriCorps team for all that you do to #BuildLA!